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Restaurant & Bar Guide
for the Mayan Riviera - Riviera Maya

This is by no means intended to be the authoritative 'Restaurant Guide to the Riviera Maya'.  Nor do I consider myself to be a food and wine critic.  I just know that when I travel, I appreciate it when the locals share with me the names and locations of the places where they eat and not necessarily the places that are popular on Trip Advisor which I have learned mean very little about whether I will share a similar opinion. 

Since Shelly and I live in Puerto Aventuras and cater to guests who stay at Brisa Caribe or one of the other villas and condos that I represent here, I have tried to cover Puerto off completely.  Spreading out from there, I have mentioned the names of some restaurants and bars scattered between Cancun and Tulum that Shelly and I or our friends frequent.  The area is large, the choices plentiful and because of the development along the Mayan Riviera, any comprehensive list would change frequently. In fact I have purposely kept a couple of my favorites off of the list because they simply wouldn't remain hidden or special if too many people found out.   So....  here is a starters list of restaurants, bars, and other places to chill out after or during a day in the fabulous Riviera Maya sun.  I know there are lots more to be discovered and you will enjoy them even more if you stumble upon them yourself.  If you do find one that we haven't listed and you think I should try, please let me know.


   MY  FAVORITES:     Everyone has their list.  Those places that you return to eat time and again.  They may not be the best, fanciest, or offer anything particularly special, but they are consistent and have something that brings you back.  Most are listed on the specific location page with directions.

* ALUX  RESTAURANTE  Y  LOUNGE: $$$  in Playa del Carmen.  (see the 'Of Interest' section)    This has made the list not because of the food but because the location and atmosphere is so unique that it is a MUST stop when we have friends visiting for the first time.

* BABES  NOODLE  HOUSE: $$  in Playa del Carmen.    More often than not, I order the Swedish meat balls, which has nothing to do with Noodles but I love it.  Shelly usually has the Pad Thai or a yellow curry.   I always have at least one Mojito because they are consistently good.

* CAFE  OLE: $$  in Puerto Aventuras.  A main stay for live music and all you can eat ribs.

* CASA  CENOTE:  on Tankha Bay .   Another loved local hangout.  Owner Gary does a mean Texas bar-b-que for lunch on Sundays.  Burgers are always good and beer cold.  Bring your mask and snorkel with you and explore Cenotoe Manate in Gary's back yard. 

* CASA  MEDITERRANEA: $$   in Playa.  When we want Italian in Playa it is most often a toss up between CASA MEDITERRANEA, CASA SOFIA and RISTORANTE  AMBASCIATA  D' ITALIA.

* CHAMICO'S: $$  far end of the beach Soliman Bay   Pescado Entero and a few cold beer.  Plastic table in the sand under a palm tree... move the table when the sun gets in your eyes.... This is the way it used to be down here...

* CHARLIES: $-$$   in Tulum on main street.  More than one afternoon has been lost after margaritas at Charlie's.  Do they even serve food here?

* COCKTELERIA  la  BOMBA  JAROCHA  II: $$    in Playa del Carmen.   I almost always have the baked seafood soup.  It is delicious.

* COCO'S  CABANAS  RESTAURANT: $$$  located north of Playa del Carmen.  Telephone 998 874-7056 OR 998 185-7798   It is a little difficult to find but well worth it.  Best to call and ask for directions because the way in often changes.    Owners Sylvia and Helmut will spoil you with their hospitality and chef quality meals including delicious wood fired pizzas.  In fact Helmut's wood fired meals was inspiration for us to put our own wood fired oven in.  Feel free to tell them Doug and Shelly from Puerto sent you. 

* CURRY  OMM: $$   in Playa.  We need an Indian curry from time to time and this is a good one..

* DIAMANTE  K: $$$   on the beach in Tulum.  'Pizza by the sea'..  The location of this cabana style hotel and restaurant owned by Mexican actor Roberto Palazuelos, could not be more idyllic.  We often just have a pizza (prepared in wood fired oven) and a mojito or margarita, but we have always been very pleased when having a full meal too.  The menu is varied and creative.  Everything is cooked over charcoal.

*  EL  PIRATA  PESCADERIA  Y  COCKTELERIA: $$  in Playa.   This is our go to place for Pescado Entero in Playa.  When we first discovered it, the restaurant was only frequented by a few local Mexicans but word is out and there is now usually a line up to get a table.

* HC de MONTEREY: $$   in Playa del Carmen.  Most people who enjoy a good steak would not go out of their way to find a flank steak.  Do it... The arachera here is delicious. (tip: after eating here often enough to be recognized, the waiter told me that I should try the Mexican beef rather than the US Grade that I normally ordered.  He was right.  It was better and cheaper)

* La  CUEVA  del  CHANGO: $$$    in Playa del Carmen.  Our other Sunday morning breakfast place.  (They are now open in the evening and just as good.)

* La  FLORESTA  or  El  OASIS  MARISCOS: $$   in Playa .   La Floresta is the original shrimp and fish taco place in the area and still great but El Oasis has a much larger menu, an actual theme to the decor and better service.  It is always shrimp tacos and a Michelada for me.  Sometimes a half dozen oysters too.

* LEOS  PIZZA: $    in Chemuyil.   One of the best pizzas around and excellent lasagna.  The surroundings have gone a little (very little) up market over the years and the gringos which used to be rare now can outnumber the locals, but the consistency of the food never falters and I just love this sleepy little Mexican village.  Open for dinner only. 

* LOL  HA  BEACH  BAR: $$  in Akumal.   Cheeseburger in paradise.

* Los  AGUAS  CHILES: $$   in Playa  Not your average Taco stand.  Designer fish and seafood tacos with a delicious assortment of sauces.  I love the chipotle and cilantro.

* MAKITO  FUSION: $$   in Puerto Aventuras.   It is usually the spicy tuna tartare for me. 

* MEZZANINE: $$$   on the beach in Tulum.   Another one of those places we take friends when they are visiting.  You can't beat the location, decent Thai food and exotic cocktails.  Friday nights this is one of the 'happening' places with top DJ's and the 'in' crowd.

* NATIVO:  in Playa del Carmen.    Breakfast or lunch.  Try the Chiliqueles with a fruit liquado of course.  Open 7:00AM to 7:00 PM.

NO  NAME  EMPANADAS  &  SENIOR  ACAVERA: $   in Playa (see under 'Mexican')  Breakfast or lunch.  If I am running around Playa in a hurry but have a hunger going on.. I will often make one of these my stop depending on what part of the city I am in.  Shelly does not enjoy hanging with me when I am running errands looking for 'stuff' but when I return home and say that I had empanadas she always wishes she had joined me.

* RED  CHICKEN (El Pollo Bronco): $   in Tulum.    There are now no end to the number of excellent dining options in Tulum but way back when there were not.. those in the know would stop for roasted achiote chicken from one of the street side grills on the east side of main street.  Today only one of these restaurants remains and the grill has moved from the street to the back of the restaurant, but it is still delicious and cheap..  You have to get your ice cold beer across the street at the agent store.

 * TURTLE  BAY  BAKERY: $$  in Akumal.    Sunday mornings we like to get on the motorcycle and head to the Turtle Bay Bakery for breakfast.  OR...if we feel like heading in the opposite direction then we head to La CUEVA del CHANGO.

* VILLA  las  ESTRELLAS: $$$ on the beach in Tulum past Ana y Jose's:  Don't be confused by 'Restaurant las Estrellas' which is a different place altogether.  Drive right past and keep looking on your left as you head toward the entrance to Sian Kaan.   Owners Simone (Italian) & Thais (Brazilian) have created a charming oasis on the beach.  What started as a small 6 room hotel and unassuming restaurant.  Has blossomed into a hip destination to chill, enjoy the view and some refreshing food and beverages.   The food is not as spot on as it originally was and the atmosphere not as intimate as when they started but still a favorite. 

* YAMAMOTO  SUSHI: $$  in Cancun.     I hate going to Cancun and will normally put it off for as long as possible, however I will make an excuse to go if I have been too long without sushi.   Chef Juan is Mexican, but he has been well trained and knows his stuff.  As soon as I walk through the door, Juan will prepare me a spicy tuna cone because he knows I MUST have one of those at every visit.  (since first tasting Juan's spicy tuna cone I have tried them at every sushi restaurant that I have visited.  NONE come even close to comparing for me)  After that I usually ask Juan to create something special for me.  Shelly loves the Special Avocado Roll but tell them to hold the cream cheese (it is a Mexican thing to put them on pretty much every maki roll they make)  Not only do they have edamame, but Juan shared with me his source, so now we enjoy this at home.)

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guide to the Maya Riviera. 

We hope that this Maya Riviera information guide to the many Riviera Maya Restaurants, bars and clubs, helps make your Mexico vacation villa or condo rental experience better.  If you have information on any Mayan Riviera restaurant, bar or club in Cancun, Puerto Morales, Playa del Carmen,  Puerto Aventuras, Akumal, Solimon Bay, Tankha, Tulum, Punta Allen or anywhere else in the Cancun to Tulum corridor that you think would be of interest to others, please contact us so that we may include it here in our Riviera Maya info guide.

Brisa Caribe offers Mexico vacation & holiday villa & condo rental accommodation on the Mayan Riviera in the resorts of Akumal, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras, Tulum and Cancun.  We have luxurious Riviera Maya villas and condos for rent by the week in Puerto Aventuras, South Akumal, Solimon Bay, Jade Bay, Tankha, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Cancun.  Please contact us for any of your Mexico Maya Riviera vacation and holiday villa and condo rental needs.

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